"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was and never will be...nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe." – Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Break From Politics...

While the Indiana Legislature is poised on the brink of the destruction of the state's teaching profession...and the US DOE continues it's all out attack on teachers...I have something else I want to write about.

First, if you're from Indiana, go HERE and tell your legislators not to destroy the teaching profession in our state...

Second, here are some blogs and articles I considered writing about:
Read them...become enraged or motivated...and then use your voice.

Now...to today's topic...teachers and all they do.

I read Mrs. Mimi's blogpost today, Blood, Sweat, Tears and Many, Many, MANY Dots and was impressed by the list of things that teachers do.

I remember all those things...and more...that took up my time every day. The little things...sorting books, putting up bulletin boards, picking up pencils off the floor, cleaning off the chalk board tray, a million other little tasks every day on top of planning, teaching, grading, phoning parents, collaborating with colleagues and recess duty (If I tried to include everything there wouldn't be room for anything else).

Mrs. Mimi made a comment in her entry today...
People [meaning non-teachers] can sympathize with the behavioral issues. They can sympathize with the hours of grading papers. They can try and understand how unappreciated teachers are. They can feel for our early wake up times.
First of all, I understand that many jobs have their little tasks that threaten to overshadow the important things that people do...and the old adage "walk a mile in my shoes" is completely true. No one knows what another person's day is like unless they've experienced it. I rant about politicians and political appointees not having any idea what it's like in a classroom (yes, you, Secretary Duncan), but I understand that I am in the same position with regards to others' work.

That's why it's so important for teachers to support each other. Who knows better than another teacher what you go through every day? Who knows better than another teacher the stress of trying to actually teach while being interrupted, pressured, twisted and thrown about. Again, from Mrs. Mimi...
But I don't think any non-teacher will truly understand how much time and energy teachers spend organizing, cleaning, lifting, moving, hanging, stapling, taping, cutting, running, bending, wiping and basically doing anything and everything that needs to be done. Whether it feels professional, in our job description or even clean. We just roll up our sleeves and get it done.
Here's to the teachers who try to teach their children while being pummeled by the outside world.

Here's to the teachers who KNOW that what they're being asked to do is NOT in the best interest of their students so they work twice as hard to actually teach, as well as getting all the crap done that the administration (or state DOE, or US DOE, or whoever is bashing teachers today) requires.

Here's to the teachers who, despite all the pain, stress, disrespect, and insults from those who haven't a clue, still get up every day and greet the children in their care with smiles, patience and professionalism because they love what they do.

Make it a point to tell a teacher something supportive every day...That in itself might be all it takes to turn American education around...

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